Can hypothyroidism reversed?

Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a common condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It can cause symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, feeling cold, and depression. Many people wonder if there are ways to reverse hypothyroidism naturally without medication.

What causes hypothyroidism?

There are a few potential causes of hypothyroidism:

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: An autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
  • Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland, often caused by an infection or an autoimmune problem.
  • Thyroid surgery: Removal of part or all of the thyroid gland can lead to hypothyroidism.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation treatment for cancers of the head and neck can damage the thyroid.
  • Medications: Drugs like amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2 can prevent the thyroid from producing enough hormones.
  • Iodine deficiency: Not getting enough iodine in your diet can lead to hypothyroidism.
  • Congenital hypothyroidism: Some babies are born with an underactive thyroid gland.

Can you reverse hypothyroidism without medication?

For many people with mild to moderate hypothyroidism, making lifestyle modifications and using natural therapies can help improve thyroid function and potentially reverse hypothyroidism. However, those with more severe hypothyroidism may require thyroid hormone replacement medication.

Here are some natural ways to help reverse hypothyroidism:

Eat thyroid-healthy foods

Making dietary changes is one of the most important natural remedies for hypothyroidism. Eat more of these thyroid-healthy foods:

  • Seafood – Fish and shellfish are rich in selenium and zinc which are important for thyroid function. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Brazil nuts – Just a few Brazil nuts provide more than your daily selenium needs. Selenium is crucial for thyroid hormone production.
  • Eggs – Eggs are a good source of iodine which is needed for making thyroid hormones.
  • Berries – Berries like strawberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C that can help reduce inflammation in Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Avocados – Avocados contain healthy fats and nutrients like vitamin B12 that support thyroid health.
  • Chia seeds – Chia seeds are high in omega-3s and fiber which helps modulate the immune system’s inflammatory response.

Avoid any foods you may be sensitive to like gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and refined sugars which can trigger autoimmune responses. A healthy hypothyroidism diet limits processed foods and includes more whole, unrefined foods.

Correct nutrient deficiencies

Many people with hypothyroidism are deficient in important nutrients needed for proper thyroid function like:

  • Iodine – Needed to make thyroid hormone. Good sources include seaweed, fish, eggs, yogurt, and prunes.
  • Selenium – Helps convert T4 to active T3 thyroid hormone. Brazil nuts, seafood, and mushrooms are good sources.
  • Zinc – Required for thyroid hormone production. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, beef, chicken, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Iron – Low iron can exacerbate hypothyroid symptoms. Iron is found in red meat, spinach, lentils, and raisins.
  • Vitamin D – Low levels are linked to increased risk of Hashimoto’s. Get vitamin D from sunlight, fatty fish, eggs, and fortified foods.

Taking a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplements may help fill any nutritional gaps.

Try thyroid-supportive herbs and spices

Certain herbs and spices can help enhance thyroid function by reducing inflammation and promoting hormone balance. These include:

  • Ashwagandha – This Ayurvedic herb supports thyroid function and may help normalize TSH and T4 levels.
  • Bacopa – Also called Brahmi. Has antioxidant effects that may protect the thyroid gland.
  • Bladderwrack – A type of seaweed high in iodine that stimulates thyroid hormone output.
  • Ginger – The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can inhibit cytokines involved in Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
  • Guggul – An Indian herb used to treat hypothyroidism and enhance conversion of T4 to T3 thyroid hormones.
  • Coleus – Also known as forskolin. May increase thyroid hormone production and stimulate thyroid function.

Try eliminating potential food triggers

Food sensitivities and leaky gut are often at the root cause of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Eliminating trigger foods can help reverse damage to the gut lining and lower inflammation. Common food triggers include:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers)
  • Refined sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Work with a healthcare practitioner to identify which foods may be triggering your thyroid issues and remove them from your diet for 30-90 days. Then slowly reintroduce them while monitoring symptoms to see if any should be avoided long-term.

Reduce stress

Chronic stress negatively impacts thyroid function in several ways. Stress hormones like cortisol interfere with TSH signaling. Stress also depresses immune function which can trigger Hashimoto’s flares. To reduce stress:

  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness.
  • Make time for hobbies, fun activities, and social connection.
  • Get regular exercise which naturally reduces stress.
  • Try adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, and panax ginseng.
  • Get enough sleep and rest.

Use essential oils

Essential oils have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hormone-balancing properties that make them useful in reversing hypothyroidism. Some of the top oils for thyroid support include:

  • Frankincense – Boosts immune function and prevents Hashimoto’s flares. Helps regulate TSH, T3, and T4 levels.
  • Myrrh – Stimulates underactive thyroids and thyroid hormone secretion. Has antibacterial benefits.
  • Lemongrass – Suppresses thyroid hormone production in overactive thyroids. Anti-inflammatory.
  • Rosemary – Improves tissue oxygenation. May increase thyroid hormone levels.
  • Lavender – Reduces stress hormone output. Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.

Use a few drops diluted with a carrier oil on your neck/throat, in a diffuser, or in a bath. Avoid oral consumption.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is important for managing hypothyroidism. Benefits include:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Balances hormone levels
  • Relieves stress
  • Boosts energy and fights fatigue
  • Aids weight loss

Aim for 30-60 minutes of activity most days. Walking, yoga, cycling, and strength training are excellent options.

Can medication be stopped if hypothyroidism is reversed?

For those with mild subclinical hypothyroidism, making the right lifestyle and dietary changes may potentially reverse the condition, allowing them to stop medication under a doctor’s supervision. However, people diagnosed with overt hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s or other thyroid damage usually require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement medication.

Work closely with your endocrinologist before stopping hypothyroidism medication. Get repeated lab work done to confirm your thyroid levels have normalized and are stable without medication for at least 3-6 months before discontinuing it.

What is the best diet for hypothyroidism?

The best diet for hypothyroidism focuses on eliminating potential food sensitivities while getting adequate nutrients that support thyroid function. Some tips for the ideal hypothyroidism diet include:

  • Avoid gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, and sugar.
  • Load up on anti-inflammatory foods like berries, leafy greens, nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
  • Eat plenty of thyroid-healthy seafood, Brazil nuts, mushrooms, and eggs.
  • Soak nuts and seeds to make nutrients more bioavailable.
  • Choose organic produce whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated with filtered water.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol which strain the thyroid.
  • Supplement with a high-quality multivitamin or specific nutrients like selenium if deficient.

What natural supplements are good for hypothyroidism?

Some of the top natural supplements to consider for hypothyroidism include:

  • Probiotics – Restore gut health and reverse leaky gut driving Hashimoto’s flares. Look for multi-strain formulas.
  • Omega-3s – Powerful anti-inflammatories that support thyroid function. Derived from fish, flax, or algae.
  • Vitamin D – Crucial for immune regulation. Optimal levels are around 60-80 ng/mL.
  • Selenium – Take 200 mcg daily to support T4 to T3 conversion.
  • Zinc – 30-50 mg per day for thyroid hormone synthesis.
  • Ashwagandha – Ayurvedic herb to lower stress, reduce inflammation, and balance thyroid hormones.
  • Tyrosine – Amino acid essential for thyroid hormone production.

Work with a functional medicine practitioner to determine which supplements are right for your specific needs and thyroid lab results.

What foods should you avoid if you have hypothyroidism?

Those with hypothyroidism may consider avoiding these foods which can trigger inflammation, exacerbate symptoms, and disrupt thyroid function:

  • Gluten – Found in wheat, barley, and rye products. Very inflammatory.
  • Dairy – Lactose and proteins in dairy can trigger immune responses.
  • Soy – Contains goitrogens that interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Goitrogens in veggies like broccoli and cabbage may suppress thyroid function when eaten raw and in large amounts.
  • Corn – Highly genetically modified. Also a common allergen.
  • Sugar – Spikes blood sugar and inflammation. Excess intake strains the thyroid.
  • Caffeine – Overstimulates the thyroid gland. Worsens symptoms.
  • Alcohol – Causes inflammation and nutrient deficiencies.
  • Processed foods – Laden with inflammatory seed oils, additives, and preservatives.

Some people react negatively to eggs, nightshade vegetables, nuts, seeds, and citrus fruits as well. An elimination diet can help identify your unique food triggers.

How can I boost my thyroid naturally?

Some effective ways to give your thyroid a natural boost include:

  • Eat more seafood, Brazil nuts, eggs, and berries.
  • Take supplements like selenium, zinc, omega-3s, and vitamin D.
  • Try thyroid-supporting herbs like ashwagandha, coleus, and guggul.
  • Use essential oils like frankincense, myrrh, and lemongrass.
  • Reduce inflammation triggers like stress, food sensitivities, and leaky gut.
  • Exercise regularly to balance hormones.
  • Get proper sleep and rest.
  • Stay hydrated and limit caffeine and alcohol.

Natural therapies work best alongside conventional treatment under a doctor’s supervision. Be patient as it can take time to reverse thyroid dysfunction.

What foods are good for an underactive thyroid?

The best foods to eat for an underactive thyroid include:

  • Seafood – Wild caught fish and shellfish provide selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nuts and seeds – Especially nutrient-rich Brazil nuts which are loaded with selenium.
  • Eggs – Supply iodine needed for thyroid hormone production.
  • Berries – Rich in antioxidant vitamins that reduce inflammation.
  • Avocado – Healthy fats and nutrients to balance hormones.
  • Chicken – Lean protein source that has less inflammation risk than red meat.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, kale, cabbage supply thyroid-protecting nutrients.
  • Legumes – Beans and lentils provide iron, protein, fiber.

A diet full of whole, nutrient-dense foods nourishes the thyroid while processed foods, sugar, and junk food works against it. Stay hydrated with filtered water as well.


Reversing hypothyroidism takes time and commitment to an anti-inflammatory diet, stress reduction, targeted supplementation, and the right medications. Work with a doctor to monitor your lab work so that thyroid hormone levels normalize and remain stable. Controlling Hashimoto’s flares and managing symptoms takes diligence, but a natural approach can potentially help you avoid lifelong thyroid medication.

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